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Ekiti shuts schools, bans gatherings of more than 20 people

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti
21 March 2020   |   4:15 am
The Ekiti State Government, yesterday, directed all public and private schools and institutions in the State to close down from Monday, March 23, 2020, till further notice.


Non-Essential Services, Civil Servants Bellow Level 12 To Work From Home
The Ekiti State Government, yesterday, directed all public and private schools and institutions in the State to close down from Monday, March 23, 2020, till further notice.

Governor Kayode Fayemi, who stated this in a statewide broadcast aired in Ado Ekiti, added that all public gatherings of more than 20 persons are banned from March 20, 2020.

These include religious gatherings such as worship and prayer services, night vigils, house fellowships and NASFAT meetings; social gatherings, burials, weddings, family meetings and parties of any kind; political gatherings, e.g. rallies, congresses, ward meetings; night clubs, bars, beer joints, NYSC CDS meetings.

“All non- essential services in private and public sectors are encouraged to work from home from Monday, March 23, 2020. These includes civil and public servants from level 12 officers and below; except essential services like health workers, caregivers, social welfare officers, fire service officers, emergency response officers, media professionals, and security/ watchmen in public institutions. Government officials are advised to keep their phone lines open as they may be required to come to the office when needed.”

On inter state transportation, the governor said there should be no overloading of passengers in public transportation with effect from yesterday, adding that, commercial vehicles must ensure only one person is sitting in the front seat with the driver and not more than 3 passengers on a row in the backseat.

“Motorcyclists (Okadas) must carry only one passenger each to minimise close contact as much as possible; hand washing facilities must be available at all motor parks. Citizens must wash their hands regularly with liquid soap under running water multiple times everyday to avoid virus transfer.

“All public places must provide hand washing implements at the entrance and exit of their facility with immediate effect. A running tap with safe drainage or a Veronica bucket for running water and liquid soaps or hand sanitizers must be made available at motor parks, eateries, banks, shops, offices and any place with significant human traffic to encourage frequent hand washing.”

He continued: “Market men and women must practice hand washing under running water with liquid soap at least 6 times a day in their stalls. This is to minimise the transfer of virus picked up in the process of buying and selling.

“Citizens visiting markets must ensure they wash their hands with soap under running water as soon as they leave the market before they get home.”

Fayemi said that while these measures may appear excessive, “We cannot afford the spread of a debilitating virus like COVID-19 in Ekiti State. Apart from its alarming mortality rate, especially on senior citizens, who constitute a significant part of our demography in Ekiti State, its capacity to destroy the economy of a community is very lethal.

“As someone has said, ‘the risk of doing too little is unimaginable, while the risk of doing too much, in this circumstance, is completely irrelevant.’ It is thus safer to act excessively in abundance of caution, than to act inadequately and live with scary consequences.”

The governor said that from Monday, the Ekiti Taskforce will give regular updates at 2:00pm every 48 hours at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Ministry of Health and Human Services, State Secretariat, to keep the public informed of new developments and the actions being taken by government.